Pregnant woman (illustration)
Pregnant woman (illustration)Thinkstock

The percentage of pregnancies being terminated by abortions continues to fall in Israel, according to data gathered by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

According to the CBS data, nearly all requests for approval of abortions are accepted by the state abortion board, with 99.3% of requests being granted, compared to just 0.7% which were rejected.

In Israel, abortion on demand is prohibited, but the board reviewing abortion requests has traditionally approved abortions in the vast majority of cases.

The number of requests for abortions, however, is in decline, part of a 30-year trend.

In 1988, 18.6 out of every 1,000 women ages 15 to 49 requested an abortion that year.

The abortion rate fell to less than half that by 2015, with 9.4 out of every 1,000 women in the 15 to 49 age group requesting abortions, amounting to roughly 18,400 abortions performed, and 18,510 requests for abortions.

In 2016, the abortion rate continued to slide, falling to 9 abortions for everyone 1,000 women in the key age group.

Abortions were performed less frequently for Druze women, who aborted at the rate of 6 per 1,000 women in 2016, and Muslim women, with an abortion rate of 7.1 per 1,000.

Jewish and Christian Arab women had higher-than average rates of abortion, with 9.4 out of every 1,000 Jewish women in the key age group requesting abortions, compared to 9.8 Christian Arab women.

Non-Arab Christian women and women with no official religion had the highest rates of abortion at 12.7 and 11.3 respectively.

Abortion is also in decline in Israel when measured by the percentage of pregnancies which ended in abortion.

While 15.2% of all pregnancies ended in abortion in 1988, in 2016, that number had fallen to 9%.

The overwhelming majority of abortion requests (85.8%) in 2016 were for abortions during the first trimester, while just 1.9% were late-term abortion requests (after 24 weeks).